For a wide range of products, the required strip thickness, flatness and surface quality can be achieved more economically by linking the pickling and cold-rolling processes. This offers significant improvements with respect to mill productivity, yield and production costs as a result of the elimination of strip-threading and tailing-out operations. Reduced strip-head and tail-end losses also contribute to better overall yield. Speed-optimization systems from Primetals Technologies ensure the highest throughput rates under all operating conditions. In addition, maintenance, roll consumption and manpower requirements are lowered. Typical production capacities of such combined facilities are in the range of 1.2–2 million t/a.
Main benefits of Primetals Technologies' coupled pickling line and tandem cold mill
- Highest production rates
- Uniformly pickled surfaces
- Saving energy, reduce acid consumption
- Closed loops of acid, fume, and rinse circulation reduce operating costs in an environmentally friendly manner
- Optimized yield
- Reduced roll consumption
- Flexible production
- Tight tolerances for strip thickness, shape, and high surface quality
- Low costs for operation, maintenance, and minimum down times
- Lower mill energy consumption with small diameter work rolls
- Stable operation
Fig.1- Layout of continuous pickling Tandem cold mill (PL-TCM)
- i-Box pickling tank for high performance pickling
- Acid concentration control system for pickled surface quality and to minimize acid consumption
- 6-high and 4-high mill stands for high flexibility for all products
- Universal Crown Control mill (UCM mill) with intermediate roll shifting for high reductions and excellent flatness control by eliminating undesirable contact area between rolls. This enables the application of an all straight roll.
- SmartCrown contour roll associated with axial roll-shifting for enhanced flatness control
- Roller bearings for Back-up Roll for better AGC
- High response HAGC system, named HYROP-F (Hydraulic Roll Position Control System with Force Motor Valve)
- High response AC motor and pinion drive
- Physical-based analytical models supported by neural network with multi-zone work roll cooling ensure mill setup and excellent shape control to achieve tight tolerances right from the start
- Flexible thread-in and thread-out strategies for all kinds of materials, such as IF, HSS, DP,TRIP etc.
- Patented compensation systems for correcting periodic roll and coil eccentricities
- Last stand can be used for smoothing or texturing strip surface
- Fully automated work roll and intermediate roll change for minimizing downtime
- High speed rotary shear for continuous operation of tension reel without any stoppage at coil switchover
- Carrousel tension reel achieve stable coiling of lead end and tail end
- Fully automatic operation allows operators to concentrate on product quality; actual operator intervention is reduced to an absolute minimum.
- Trimming with flying width change control
Fig.2- Continuous pickle line | Fig.3- i-Box pickling tank | Fig.4- Six stand tandem cold mill
Complete process control at every level
Technological controls and process models form the core of any sophisticated automation solution that aims to maximize utilization of the mechanical, hydraulic, and other positioning elements. The value of the Primetals Technologies solution for cold mills can be seen in the rolled strip: considerably improved gauge tolerances, less off-gauge material, and perfect flatness. Our solutions for cold rolling mill automation cover the complete range of requirements, from "fit-for-use" single-stand cold mills to linked pickling and tandem cold rolling mill complexes. Highest performance levels are achieved by combining extensive process knowledge and using the most advanced automation solutions which feature artificial intelligence with neural networks, optimized scheduling to minimize costs, and multi-variable auto-adaptive control. The Primetals Technologies automatic gauge and tension control satisfy even the most challenging demands, such as those for flying gauge changes. The model-based flatness-control system, which incorporates multi-variable functions, allows the tightest flatness tolerances to be met. On the basis of its modular design, all available roll-gap profile actuators can be used.
Contactless flatness measurement system - Look, but don’t touch
Most systems still measure flatness through contact-based radial force measurements. This technique suffers from several shortcomings. As an alternative, non-contact flatness measurement is based on periodic excitation of the strip and measurement of the excitation amplitude across the strip width. Excitation force is applied by creating a low pressure between the strip and the sensor plate below the pass line of the mill stand. The resulting strip excitation is measured by non-contact eddy current sensors and converted to flatness distribution.
Speed Optimization System
Speed optimization achieves smooth running production, i.e. a good production rate at a high quality level, by avoiding any stoppages in each of the individual aggregates of the line. Just as a concert of musicians of great talent are nothing without a good conductor, all the individual aggregates of a pickling line and tandem cold mill (PLTCM) must be coordinated together in order to get the most out of them. The purpose of the Speed Optimization System is to run each part of the plant as fast as possible to increase throughput, but only as fast as necessary while keeping the speed of each part as constant as reasonable for quality reasons. The result is a process that is more homogeneous in operation and products are of higher quality, as well as line throughput is maximized.
Dynamic Rolling Program
Dynamic Rolling achieves smooth and safe production during transitions by controlling target gauge changes on the fly (within the same strip or at weld seam). Cold rolling on continuous tandem cold mills requires methods to optimize production and minimize yield losses on the transition between individual strips. Maximum flexibility of the rolling schedule can be retained as an additional requirement. Smooth operations can be achieved to reduce the danger of roll surface damage or strip breaks. The purpose of the Dynamic Rolling Program is to supply your continuous cold mill with the ability to automatically roll transitions whatever they are: transitions between strips, transitions within the same strip for purposes of load redistribution, or target thickness change under extreme transitions.
Drive Train Package
Primetals Technologies offers modernization and upgrading for drive train system of your cold rolling mills. This package comprises all electrical and automation components of the whole drive train for mill stands or coilers. It consists of medium voltage power supply and harmonic filters, the drive transformer, the drive system and contactors, synchronous motors and asynchronous motors, sensors and brakes, reducer or pinion gear, couplings, spindles and torque limiters (e.g. shear pins).
Safety System - For a maximum risk reduction of your lines
Safety requirements are getting stricter to protect personnel from harm through industrial injuries. Our Safety System is designed according to European or International standards ensuring the state of the art in terms of risk reduction. Based on the defined risk reduction measures of the risk assessment and failsafe automation system, the Safety System includes the following safety functions: emergency stop, safe stop for access to a mill area, controlling and monitoring of the access facilities to the safety areas, operation or if necessary stopping of movements inside a safety area, safely reduced speed monitoring. The Safety System also comprises safety stop solutions for drives and hydraulic equipment.
Roll Eccentricity Compensation
The Roll Eccentricity Compensator improves strip quality by eliminating thickness deviations caused by roll eccentricities. Getting strip thickness within narrow tolerances is particularly important to ensure a good strip quality. Thickness variations at mill exit come not only from the incoming strip gauge variations or from the forward slip effect from changes in strip tension, but also from eccentricity of rolls. For various reasons such as non-uniform thermal expansion of the rolls, grinding inaccuracy, or asymmetrical adjustment of the bearing rolls shell via drive keys, each roll creates oscillations with an eccentricity frequency that has to be compensated to produce a strip with uniform thickness. Based on its long experience in rolling technology, Primetals Technologies improved its REC system using, depending on rolling conditions, the measured exit thickness, the roll force, or the entry tension deviation for evaluating the eccentricity.
Equipment Performance Analyzer
The Equipment Performance Analyzer is designed to monitor and improve the effectiveness of the rolling process and the metallurgical equipment (rolling mills, processing line, …) The key issue today is to identify the right improvement measures as investment budgets are very restricted. The purpose of the package is to optimize operation, in other words, produce more and better without new investment in production. Most industries already monitor what is coming out of their metallurgical equipment. The Equipment Performance Analyzer package goes deeper and monitors what could have come out versus what has been really produced. In another way, it provides excellent gauges for measuring where the losses are and how the situation can be improved according to the following three improvement axis: non-stop production, top speed production, zero defect production.
Off-Gauge Optimizer - Optimized productivity due to a major reduction in off-gauges.
The need for product quality and productivity are continually growing in terms of dimensional accuracy, thickness, flatness, mechanical properties, surface quality, and yield. Scrap resulting from off-gauge lengths leads to additional processing costs that decrease overall yield. Primetals Technologies proposes a solution involving low investment costs and fast return of capital investment (typically 1 year) derived from the so-called “hidden potentials” of your mill equipment. Based on the perfect combination of technology, process control, and instrumentation, the Off-Gauge Optimizer features the smart implementation of the control algorithm of a tandem cold mill based on the mass flow principle.
SIAS - Automated Surface Inspection System.
SIAS, the solution for automatic surface inspection from Primetals Technologies is designed for surface quality monitoring for billets and flat products. Composed of an on-line sensor (light source and cameras) coupled with image processing hardware and software, the goal of the system is to replace partial and random surface inspection with constant, repeatable, and systematic inspection of 100% of the production. SIAS exclusive and patented classification method “Coulomb Hyperspheres” enables the system to detect and classify the most critical defect after generally two weeks of operation. Fully integrated to the system, the coil grading application is an additional functionality that aids decision-making by automatically computing a global quality level based on final customer surface quality requirement and the product surface evaluation through SIAS.
Primetals Technologies has supplied 55 plants from 1980 to June 2016, which is 71% of the global market share of continuous TCM